Chapter 824. A Robbery
"You…! How can you be so uncivilized?" Sonny scolded. "You people are acting like gangsters!"
"Oh? You only realized it now? You are unbelievably dense, eh? Yeah, we are gangsters who claim this territory now. Do you want to leave or do you want to fight us?" Straightpole asked. He aimed his strident menacingly at Sonny who was still on the ground.
"This goes for all you Growth Aid Agency people. Pack up now or face the wrath of Corporate United!" Straightpole bellowed. "As for you who are looking for service. You are welcome to stay but please prepare ten gold coins for payment."
"This is a robbery! I don't have that many coins!" One of the low-level players uttered.
"I don't care," Straightpole said. "You can stay here forever then."
"We can take them, there are only thirty of them!" Another low-level player uttered. An arrow soon flew and struck his head, resulting in a critical hit. He was only level 10. The hit killed him immediately. He came back to life soon on the same spot, but he was back to level 1 now.
"Even if you are more, you are just ants to us. We can crush you easily," Straightpole uttered.
The only high-level players opposite the Corporate United group were just the Growth Aid Agency members, but they only numbered sixteen. Only twelve were decent fighters to power-level the low-level players. The other four were there for management purposes. Additionally, their equipment was not as good as the Corporate United people. It was evident from a single glance.
Sonny looked at his comrades. They were never fighters. Jack had been correct about them being businessmen in the past world. Legitimate ones. Their fight was mostly in court, or in the worst situation, paying someone to fight for them. They only learned how to fight personally after coming to this world. They won't stand a chance against these brutes.
"So, how will it be?" Straightpole asked. "I will count to ten. If you Growth Aid People have not yet scrammed by the count of ten. Then don't blame us for being mean. One…!"
"No need to count!" Jack slipped out from the crowd. He gave Straightpole a wide grin.
"Yo–you…!!" Straightpole stammered.
"Surprise?" Jack asked, still flashing his grin.
"You… What are you doing here?!" Straightpole uttered. A member of his group sent a message in the party chat, 'Sir Straightpole, who is that? We can't inspect him.'
Another member answered him, 'You stupid. You don't recognize him? Hurry and wear your Amulet of Rebirth!"
That member turned to the one who had just answered with a questioning expression.
Straightpole took a deep breath, his expression then turned calm again. "You!" He said to Jack. "The last time you used a cheap trick to render me unable to move. I have been looking for the chance to return this shame. Now, I finally get the chance! Come, face me one on one!"
"Looking for a chance for a one-on-one? Are you serious?" Jack could hardly believe his ears. After pondering, he said, "All right, if you want a one-on-one, I think I can give you some leniency. I won't use any weapons. How about that?"
"How dare you! I will kill you!" Straightpole rushed out. His trident thrust and created multiple images.
Jack's feet moved with Eight Diagram Illusory Steps. Although Straightpole's trident was fast, it failed to hit Jack. With little movement, Jack moved out of the way just before the trident hit. All the weapon managed to catch was his afterimages.
Straightpole was frustrated, he used Ki Strike. The energy blast covered a wide area in melee range, so Jack's footwork would be useless in this case.
Although Jack could have tanked this attack, he didn't give his opponent the satisfaction of hitting him. He used Shooting Dash to dodge the attack before dashing back to Straightpole's back. He then used his fist and struck Straighpole's open back.
Damage number of 200 appeared above Straightpole's head. Straightpole was alarmed. Did Jack have a Battle Monk class as well? He summoned his spirit weapon. Both he and his spirit weapon attacked Jack together, but none of their stabs landed. Both Jack's Eight Diagram Illusory Steps and inhuman speed allowed him to dodge all attacks. While doing so, he threw a fist now and then. Every fist landed on Straightpole's body. Out of four punches, three produced damage numbers.
Jack had incorporated mana manipulation in his punches. Although he could not yet have perfect control during a real fight, using mana manipulation on his fists compared to weapons was much easier. The mana inside this valley was also denser compared to the outside world. Hence, he saw this fight as training to further his mana control.
The other Corporate United members were unsure. Should they help? Straightpole had expressed a desire for a one-on-one. Would they be scolded if they help? But Straightpole appeared to be in trouble. One of them was about to help but he was stopped by his friend. He turned and saw the one who stopped him was the one who had warned them to wear the Amulet of Rebirth.
Jack's punches had reduced Straightpole's HP to half. In his rage, Straightpole didn't seem to be aware. He continued to strike with his trident, determined to land a hit.
Jack took an opportunity and slid to Straightpole's side when Straightpole was doing a strong thrust. That side was completely open. Straightpole's spirit weapon was on the other side, blocked by Straightpole's own body.
Jack took a stance. He aimed his palm with its fingers facing forward, forming a make-shift sword. He then thrust forward. A trail of light followed his thrust. His four fingers stabbed into Straightpole's waist. Jack had thrust his fingers using the martial art One-word Thrust and strengthened by mana manipulation.
Straightpole felt as if he had been stabbed by a real sword. Damage number of 2000 floated above his head, devouring his remaining HP.
His body fell lifelessly to the ground. Only to be revived back on the spot. He was now level 1 and was wearing common equipment.
"Dude, you never learn, do you?" Jack said to him.
Straightpole was having a complicated expression. He was indeed regretting not equipping the Amulet of Rebirth.
Jack then turned to the rest of the Corporate United members. "You people want to fight as well?" He asked.
"No… We don't want any trouble. We will leave," the one who had held his friend from interfering, said. Jack used Inspect on him. He was named Associate Clearhead.
"Some of you look unhappy, though," Jack said after observing the others. "Come at me however you like. You can go at me together."
"Get him!" One of those with unhappy faces uttered. Twenty-two Corporate United members rushed at Jack at the same time.
"Wait, don't!" Clearhead called out.
Jack just watched his incoming opponents with a grin. His sword and staff appeared. Spell formation was formed rapidly. Fifteen large vipers burst out and bound more than half of the rushing players. Jack then used Whirlwind Slash, hitting everyone, bound or unbound.
He then activated Asura and Magic Weapon. With six swords, he went around slicing everyone, prioritizing the ones that were not caught by his Myriad Venomous Vipers. In a short time, all twenty-two players died. Those that were wearing Amulet of Rebirth, returned to life in the same place. Jack then killed them again, causing them to waste the amulets.
Straightpole watched with a blank face. If Jack had used weapons, he would have died in a shorter time.
Only seven remaining members of Corporate United, who didn't attack Jack, remained at level 48. Jack looked at them. Clearhead gulped and again said, "We don't wish to fight."
"Okay," Jack nodded and stored his weapons.
Clearhead was cursing in his mind. He was also spamming the party chat, scolding those who didn't heed his warning. He had been amongst those that had seen Jack in action when they attacked Heavenly Citadel the first time. These twenty-two morons did not.
"You can go," Jack said.
Clearhead helped the others get up. They were heading to the hub with the valley's exit when Jack stopped them.
"Halt!" Jack stood in their way.
"Bu–but… You said you let us go?" Clearhead stammered. He was worried this demon only toyed with them, that he would still slay them, after all.
"I said you can go, but not through here. This place is managed by Everlasting Heavenly Legends' partner. If you want to use the exit here, you have to pay," Jack uttered.
Sonny looked at Jack. Partner? Everlasting Heavenly Legends? Wasn't that the number one guild in this country?
'Ugh, no wonder this demon is here. So, this place is already taken by a powerful group,' Clearhead thought with regret. Their informant told them that this place was only run by a third-rate guild. He swore he would go and look for this informant after he returned and beat the shit out of him.
"Fine, here is 5 gold coins," Clearhead said.
"What 5 gold coins? For you people, the fee is 10 gold coins, for each. So, that will be 300 gold coins. Those that cannot pay just stay here and wait for your friends to come back with coins," Jack said.
"That's… That's a robbery!" Clearhead uttered.
"It is," Jack said. The table had turned on them.